Saturday, August 6

YEAR:  2022 | Tags:  | | | |

Garden, 12:15


You can use Facebook for many things and for many of them you should probably use something else. One aspect, however, works very well indeed in my limited experience: hyper-local micro-groups. Some people in Vartiokylä, where we live, started a local group in Facebook and it has grown into a major source of activism and sharing.

For some reason a local craze has developed for taking bicycles, riding them, and then leaving them in the woods or by lamp posts. The FB group has regular posts of photographs of the bikes and people actually get them back this way. Runaway cats also use the group to get taken back home.

This weekend we had a lot of very big stones that we no longer wanted because a spate of gardening had made them unnecessary. One post later and people began queuing up to get them. One day later and they had all gone.

Through the group we learned of an 8 year old Ukrainian refugee who had moved to a house in Vartiokylä temporarily and wanted a bike. We had the bike Auo used up to the summer before she died, so I got it from the shed, checked the tyres, cleaned it, and then Irma replied.

Today the girl came round, with her mother and grandmother, to collect it. She genuinely beamed with happiness when she saw it. I made sure to show her how to stop (Finnish bikes use the pedals to brake; technically they use coaster brakes), and then she gave us a cake.

We watched her cycle away with tears in our eyes.